SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Jackie and William Hawks say they heard a loud noise Thursday night.
“We started hearing voices, you know, like coming towards the house and like, oh, my gosh, what’s going on? Because it’s freezing cold. You wouldn’t expect people to be outside,” Jackie said. “The mother came to our door and boy, you can see the house was on fire immediately.”
Their neighbor’s home on South Mayfair had gone up in flames.
“It’s just real heartbreaking to see a house fire right before Christmas and they lost everything,” Jackie said. “The main thing is that everyone got out.” William added.
The house fire on Mayfair is one of several fire calls since Thursday.
Springfield fire crews have been busy responding to calls as people try to stay warm during the historic winter storm.
“The conditions last night, we had two fires overnight. Today, within 3 hours, we had two working house fires, one being an apartment building and the other one being a house fire.” Division Chief Eric Latimer said. “It is a very it is very draining on our firefighters with these conditions right now.”
KOLR10 spoke to a battalion chief Thursday night about the hurdles crews have to overcome in these elements.
“Just getting crews here and then with the water situation, of course, things are freezing up our air packs as they get condensation when the guys are breathing, they freeze.” Battalion Chief Brian Athen said. “We have to get in the trucks and rotate people through and get them thawed out. It’s a big problem battling equipment more than anything.
Despite the hurdles, William Hawks was impressed with the response time.
“I was amazed that they were here within 10 minutes. And, you know, the logistics of getting ready and everything.”
Firefighters remind everyone to be safe during the winter season.
“If you’re going to use alternate heating methods, make sure that you’re using appropriate space heaters and appropriate heating sources. Do not use extension cords and space heaters and make sure you keep a safe distance using space heaters from anything that’s combustible.” Latimer said.